The formal sciences discover the philosophers' stone

The last fifty years have seen the creation of a number of new "formal" or "mathematical" sciences, or "sciences of complexity". Examples are operations research, theoretical computer science, information theory, descriptive statistics, mathematical ecology and control theory. Theorists of science have almost ignored them, despite the remarkable fact that (from the way the practitioners speak) they seem to have come upon the "philosophers' stone": a way of converting knowledge about the real world into certainty, merely by thinking.
Keywords formal sciences  mathematics
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DOI 10.1016/0039-3681(94)90045-0
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References found in this work BETA
Paul Benacerraf (1965). What Numbers Could Not Be. Philosophical Review 74 (1):47-73.
Stewart Shapiro (1983). Mathematics and Reality. Philosophy of Science 50 (4):523-548.
James H. Fetzer (1988). Program Verification: The Very Idea. Communications of the Acm 31 (9):1048--1063.

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N. Reingold (1996). Between American History and History of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 27 (1):115-129.

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